Can context affect gender processing? ERP differences between definitional and stereotypical gender

Kreiner, H., Mohr, S., Kessler, K. and Garrod, S. (2009) Can context affect gender processing? ERP differences between definitional and stereotypical gender. In: Alter, K., Horne, M., Lindgren, M. and von Koss Torkildsen, J. (eds.) Brain Talk: Discourse with and in the Brain. Series: Birgit Rausing Language Program Conference Series in Linguistics. Lund Universitet: Lund, Sweden, pp. 107-119. ISBN 9789163355615

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Abstract

Previous research using Eye-Tracking and ERP has shown that readers experience processing difficulty when an anaphor (herself) refers to a gender-mismatching antecedent (minister). The mismatch-effect is due to a clash between the gender of the pronoun and the gender of the co-referential noun. We report two EEG experiments using anaphora (Experiment 1) and cataphora (Experiment 2) sen-tences, designed to investigate the processing differences between stereotypical (minister) and definitional (king) gender role nouns. Consistent with previous findings (Osterhout et al., 1997), our results reveal similar mismatching effects for these noun types in anaphora. Critically, however, in cataphora, where the pronoun precedes its co-referring noun, diverging ERP signatures are revealed. Differences in an early interval suggest fast "gender-coercing" for stereotypical nouns while effects in a later interval are likely to reflect gender mismatch pro-cessing in definitional nouns. These findings suggest that discourse constraints modulate the processing of these two noun types in different ways.

Item Type:Book Sections
Status:Published
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mohr, Dr Sibylle and Kessler, Dr Klaus and Kreiner, Dr Hamutal and Garrod, Professor Simon
Authors: Kreiner, H., Mohr, S., Kessler, K., and Garrod, S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Publisher:Lund Universitet
ISBN:9789163355615
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2009 Lund University and the Authors
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